Is your university one of the many that will adopt a hybrid working experience? If so, you’re probably considering what ‘hybrid’ means for your HR teams, employees, and students, and what you need to have in place to make a success of it.
Cloud-based HR Services technology should be on your agenda, as it meets the challenges your staff, students and HR teams face when working remotely and on campus. Critically, the quality of the employee and HR experience of work is not only maintained, but also enhanced.
Let’s take a look at some of the challenges HR are facing due to the rise of the new Hybrid working model.
Challenges of Hybrid Working for UniversitiesWhether your university HR function operates using a centralized Shared Services, decentralized or matrix (mixture of both) model, the HR Services technology you choose to deploy, will be key to whether the new digital hybrid workplace will be a success. This is because remote and hybrid ways of working mean less face-to-face contact and this creates a number of challenges that need to be resolved. They include:
- Employees need better online communication tools to stay up to date and feel part of the campus culture
- They need to be able to access these tools and platforms at anytime, and from anywhere, in order to both receive communications from HR and contact HR
- Their expectation is increasingly that they can seamlessly experience their service management requests 24/7 365 days of the year
- Collaboration among HR Services team members is more difficult when working remotely, as colleagues no longer have face-to-face contact, meaning the resolution of complex employee requests takes a lot more effort
- And to ensure team performance is optimized, HR Service Managers need visibility on individual workloads and overall team performance
However, there is Cloud technology that can help you meet these challenges and thrive in the new hybrid workplace environment. In particular, Cloud-based software tools such as Employee Communications Portal, HR Case Management, HR Knowledge Base and Advanced Reporting & Analytics:
Benefits of an Employee Communications Portal
An Employee Portal (sometimes referred to as an HR Portal) can enable effective HR-Employee-Student communications in a remote working and hybrid operating model. This is because it provides:
- An online platform for FAQs, Videos, Infographics and HR Articles & Guides so that employees can consume relevant and important HR communications, as well as find answers to many of their HR-related questions while working from home
- Easy access to a searchable Knowledge Base and AI Chatbot technology that helps employees find and get the answers to their service requests 24/7 365 days of the year
- And if an employee has a more complex question and needs to contact HR directly, technical features such as Case Creation, Case Tracking and Live Chat provide options for the employee to do so.
Benefits of HR Case Management Technology
During the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations shifted their HR Services teams to remote working. Those that did this successfully and without service management disruption had already deployed modern Cloud-base HR Services technology. This is due to some of the unique and enhanced benefits of Cloud software that enable:
Self Reliance - As you and your team resolve and document solutions to complex employee questions, you can store this information in an HR Knowledge Management database (accessible to you and your team at any time of the day and from anywhere they are located).
HR team members working remotely can use the Knowledge Base to be more self reliant, as they are able to access and find the right answers to employee questions by themselves, without having to request assistance from colleagues, who are no longer working by their side in the office.
Collaboration - If you’re using a shared inbox and spreadsheet trackers to manage your employee cases, then collaborating with colleagues to resolve employee questions, inquiries and requests, can be time consuming and cumbersome, and that’s even before you consider the lack of face-to-face communication working remotely entails.
An HR Case Management platform (like Dovetail's) with collaboration tools such Team Queues, Child Cases and Automated Workflow makes it easier for HR team members to communicate and collaborate with each other to resolve employee questions, inquiries and requests, while working remotely, or in a hybrid environment. It means you and your team don’t have to email or leave voicemails for colleagues in order to get the information needed to resolve cases. As a result, HR Services teams can work just as effectively from home (if not better), than when physically present on campus.
Hybrid/Remote Team Performance Management - When your team is working remotely, it can be difficult to gain visibility on team workload, productivity and performance. Monitoring and acting upon these KPIs is crucial for ensuring high standards of HR service management is maintained.
Dovetail's Reporting, Dashboards and Analytics capabilities enable you to pull together all the management information concerning your HR team tasks, as well as KPIs, such as Total Number of Cases Open/ Closed by Individual, and service indicators, such as Average Case Handle Time. Using this data and analysis, you can generate insights that help you monitor and guide your team, ensuring they have the right feedback to perform at their best.
Benefits of Working in the Cloud
The technology that is providing the benefits of HR Services software is in the Cloud. These include:
Online internet access from any device - Cloud computing allows users online access to all of the features and files of a system without having to keep that system on their computers. This is incredibly useful for businesses that need to be able to access large amounts of data over a secure, online network connection.
It means your employees and HR can access support and employee information via a cloud-based Employee Portal or HR Case Management system from their smartphone or tablet, while working at home or while traveling, and can quickly share that information with other colleagues and other authorized users anywhere in the world.
By enabling a work- from-anywhere on any device environment, remote working and Hybrid working models are easily supported.
Better ROI from HR technology investment - Moving from on-premise systems or spreadsheet trackers and shared inboxes to a consolidated system in the Cloud, provides better ROI from HR technology, as well as operational efficiencies.
Consistency of data - The cloud-based system allows all documents to be stored in one place and in a single format. With everyone accessing the same information, you can maintain consistency in data, avoid human error, and have a clear record of any revisions or updates.
Environmental sustainability - Cloud computing is more environmentally sustainable as it reduces energy consumption, cuts carbon footprint, and enables a shift to a greener future.
Always use the latest HR technology - Automatic software updates ensure you’re always on the latest HR Services technology, which means there is no need for lengthy, (and sometimes expensive), IT upgrade projects.
For many years now, employees have expected the workplace technology experience to match that of consumer technology such as Google Search, Amazon and Facebook. The almost overnight shift to Remote and Hybrid working has led to a sudden jump in these expectations. They want the flexibility that remote/hybrid working offers, but they also want the technology that enables them to work seamlessly both at home and at the office. An Employee Portal that improves online communications with HR, and enables self-service, provides employees with the consumer-like, online tools they need to get the service quality they need. The result is an enhanced employee experience when working remotely, which feeds into how employees feel about your organization.
Members of HR Services teams are employees too. HR Services technology such as HR Case Management with HR Knowledge Base and Collaboration functionality enables them to switch to remote working seamlessly, ensuring they can continue to offer employees the highest standards of service. Here is what Tina Aquilini-Batten, HR Operations Manager at Tower Health had to say about how Dovetail HR Services technology helped them transition to a remote working environment in a crisis:
"Dovetail was an instrumental tool during the switch to remote working, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. During COVID-19 when HR staff went remote, Dovetail was utilized much heavier (than before), and even became a main tool that we used for the unfortunate reduction in force process we had. It helped get those employees who were impacted, their answers quickly and documented."
The private sector is perhaps ahead of the curve when it comes to adopting Cloud HR technology. However, by implementing solutions like Dovetail’s HR Services technology as part of your Hybrid working model, your university can meet the needs of your employees, students and HR, to enable an optimum service management experience at your organization.
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